You want a beautiful garden that will provide you with delicious and organic food. Then you will find edible landscaping particularly useful. This type of gardening is all about bringing benefits to both the environment and you. It basically combines the best of decorative and food garden. Plants are used for both their aesthetic and nutritional value.
Edible landscaping promotes sustainability, by improving the water efficiency and incorporating natural methods for maintaining the garden. Thus it makes it safer for the wildlife, human’s health and the overall environment. Actually, this is not a new idea. It was developed in the 70’s, when the need sustainable and reusable resources came into focus.
The practice lost its popularity due to the high garden maintenance requirements. With a thorough planning and design, you will be able to save time and effort, while staying green.
Designing an Edible Landscape
The first step is to choose a location. Make a plan with different parts of your garden. Include all the elements such as garden beds, planters, fences, patios, paths and hedges. This is a fundamental step because most of the edible plants require space. The greenery will vary in terms of size, shape and texture. From aesthetical point of view this will bring colour and variety of your garden.
When designing the layout, you should take in to account the accessibility. At some point you will need to harvest what you have sed. You don’t want be go over plant beds and set your food over your vegetables. It’s advisable to create firm and clean lines and structures that will help you establish clear boarders.
Since, edible landscaping is about creating aesthetical place, you should consider your design. What type of garden do you want – formal or informal? What will be the overall theme? For instance you might prefer the Colonial or Spanish style. Think about what details you will bring into your garden. Maybe you want to install outdoor pond, fountain or gazebo. You should also get fences that are appropriate for climbing plants.
Choosing the Greenery
Make a list with all the edibles you like and that are suitable for your local environment. Make a research about their care, size and characteristics. Take into consideration the colour of the plants. You should combine plants according to both maintenance, but also appearance. Imagine how your garden will look during the different seasons. After all, it should be eye – pleasing as well as feasible.
Then grab your lists and start examining your landscape. Some plants prefer sunny areas, others shady. Play with the curves and lines to create different and unexpected shapes. Keep in mind that not all of your greenery should be edible. If you need to spice up the design, you can use decorative flowers.
Generally, vegetables and herbs require a lot of sunlight. Make your garden functional by mixing edible and decorative plants. Combine flowering perennials with rosemary, basils, thymes and sages. Shrubs like blackberries and raspberries as natural fences. They will also need a sunny spot. In order for your fruits, vegetables and flowers to grow healthy you should enrich the soil with a layer of compost and organic fertilizers. As for the pests – you can easily remove them by taking advantage of their natural enemies.
Edible landscaping has numerous benefits. It will provide you organic food, while saving you money and preserving the environment. If this is not enough, it will turn your garden into a whimsical and gorgeous place.